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My Church Excommunicated Me. What Do I Do?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2021 6:30 am

My Church Excommunicated Me. What Do I Do?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 27, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 715 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

 

1. Where can we read the original texts of scripture?

2. Should Christians support Israel in modern military conflicts?

3. What is replacement theology?

4. Are there scriptures that speak to losing a child and adoption?

5. What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Does it mean we have to speak in tongues?

6. What are your suggestions for staying connected to faith, when you are unable to attend church services? I made some horrible mistakes and disqualified myself from ministry several years ago, and now several churches have told me I am not a good match or too risky to have me in their fellowship.

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What do I do if my church has banned me from worshipping with them? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. And this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day.

We would love to hear from you. And you can call us right now for the next 25 minutes or so with your question. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

You might make a note of that for future reference, 833-THE-CORE or 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on one of our social media accounts, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You can watch us and send us a message through our YouTube channel. And you can email us with your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our listeners. Hi, I was just wondering where someone could look up the original scriptures that were translated into the New Testament.

Thank you so much. Hey, thank you for that question. Well, if you're talking about the manuscripts that were used to translate the New Testament into English, the ancient manuscripts that we have, I mean, there are thousands of them, I think somewhere over 5,000. And they're not all in one place. So you can't go to just one place where all those manuscripts are put together. They're in different museums and libraries.

People have them in private collections. And it's those manuscripts that translators will use, textual critics will use in order to get to the original text of scripture. And so if you're asking where can I find, or maybe just look up if I wanted to look up a Greek word as I'm studying the New Testament on my own. You can go online and there are websites like blueletterbible.com, for example, that oftentimes you could type in a Bible verse and it'll show you the Strong's Concordance. It'll give you some of the definitions there for a Greek word.

And so that can be a helpful resource for you. You could also sell interlinear Bibles where you have kind of the Greek and the English side by side if you're just looking for the particular word or want to see what it looked like. But as far as the manuscripts are concerned, they're really all over the place and they're still discovering new manuscripts even today.

And so, yeah, thank you for that question. Last year, just before COVID hit, my family and I visited the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. and got to see many of those original manuscripts. And you see the Hebrew, you see the Greek, they had some of the Dead Sea Scrolls. I mean, it's fascinating.

Yeah, yeah. Here in San Diego for a while they had the Dead Sea Scrolls on display and it was so cool to be able to go and look at these very ancient little fragments of scripture and to see the Hebrew writing there. I mean, it really is quite remarkable and it's just cool.

I mean, you sort of feel like Indiana Jones going to these museums and looking at these ancient artifacts. Just keep the snakes away. That's all I ask. Yes, that's right. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, give us a call.

833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Glory in Modesto, California. Glory, welcome to the program.

Good morning. I have a two-part question. The first question is, in light of everything happening over in Israel as a Christian, is it okay to openly support Israel and our Jewish brothers and sisters?

And my second question is, what is replacement theology? Hey, Glory, two really good questions. Well, first, I think as far as supporting Israel, the nation of Israel today, you know, there are some churches that say you really, you just have to support Israel because you think about what the Psalms say and whatnot, and they're the people of God, that kind of a thing. And, you know, I think we have to be careful.

I think we have to understand what the Scriptures mean in the Old Testament when you have Israel and the New Testament when Scripture talks about Israel and even in places like Romans chapters 9 through 11 where it talks about a great revival that God is going to bring about among the Jews in particular. We should stand against injustice wherever we see it. We should stand against terror wherever we see it, whether that's against, you know, the nation of Israel or any other nation or any other people for that matter. So I think that's just something as Christians that we're called, we're called to pursue justice and to uphold justice and that which is right and to stand against evil and wickedness everywhere in the world. And so insofar as, you know, there are injustices that are being done and acts of terror that are being carried out. We should condemn those things and seek to support people that are suffering at the hands of those who would commit those acts of terror. And so, and that, again, that doesn't have anything to do with, you know, something special about the nation of Israel.

But we should do that for any people, any people group that is suffering. Now, you mentioned a phrase that sometimes put out there, replacement theology. And typically, you know, when people use that phrase replacement theology or they believe in replacement theology, sometimes it could be used pejoratively, negatively. And it's the idea that this group believes that the church has replaced Israel so that God doesn't care about Israel anymore.

And so I think, you know, sometimes that language isn't entirely helpful. The way I understand the New Testament glory, and I think when you read this in places like the Book of Ephesians, it seems to me very clear that God has one people. You also see this in Romans chapter 11. God has one people throughout redemptive history. And the church, the body of Christ, has been grafted into the people of God, if you will. Paul in particular in Romans talks about this. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are one people of God. And Jews who believe in Jesus Christ are a part of that people of God, too.

Paul in the Book of Romans talked about, you know, some branches being broken off. There he is referring to unbelieving Jews in particular. So nobody has a relationship with God or is a part of the people of God unless they're united to Jesus Christ by faith. And so I think instead of using the language of replacement theology, I think it's better to just say, hey, the church or Israel in the Old Testament is a type of or a picture of the church in the New Testament under the New Covenant. And God isn't just through with the Jews.

He hasn't cast them aside. In fact, in places like Romans chapter 11, it seems to indicate that there's going to be this great revival. At least that's how I would understand that passage of scripture. But we have to be careful that we don't put this idea out there that there are two separate peoples of God. You have like the Israelites and they're God's people still today, whether they believe in Jesus or not. And then you have the church and God has these two sort of plans of salvation for these two different groups. No, there is one people united by Jesus, a part of one body. And another really wonderful passage of scripture to look at that I think unpacks this glory is the Book of Ephesians chapter two, beginning in verse 11 and following. Maybe check out that part of scripture. And so, Gloria, thank you for your questions.

Do you have a follow up? I know that quite a lot there. Oh, no, that was very helpful. Thank you.

Okay. Hey, thank you. God bless.

Thanks, Gloria. We appreciate so much you really delving into God's word on a regular basis and calling us with these very insightful questions. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to a voicemail that we received from one of our listeners named Nadine. Hi, I was wondering what scripture there is regarding women who have lost children or around adoption.

Yeah. Well, Nadine, I mean, the Bible speaks, you know, the adoption question that the Bible does talk about adoption. It's a word that's used in the Bible, in particular in the New Testament, a number of places we can go there. But regarding, you know, losing children, there are several individuals in the Bible who lost children, even infant children. I think of King David, for example, you know, the child that he had with Bathsheba died, I mean, got sick and died, and later on in his life, his son Absalom died as well later in life, and that was a very tragic event David mourns. This is something that the people of God have experienced and do experience still today, and there's a lot of hurt, there's a lot of grief. One passage of scripture that I might go to that I think can be comforting is in the book of Matthew, in Matthew chapter 10, beginning in verse 28. Listen to what Jesus said about God's providential care and control, power over all things. He says, have no fear of them for nothing, excuse me, verse 28, do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.

Rather, fear him who can destroy both the soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father, but even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. And one of the big takeaways there from Jesus' words is the fact that, one, our Father cares about us, that not even a sparrow falls to the ground apart from God's power and providence.

God knows. These kinds of tragic events, the loss of a child, they don't catch God by surprise. And I know that doesn't make it necessarily any easier for us as we're experiencing the suffering. We need to be able to grieve through these things, but just knowing that the Lord loves us, that he cares about us, and that he's still in control, I think that's one of the things that Jesus is highlighting there, even down to being able to say the very hairs of your head are numbered. And God knows us so intimately.

So there's that. And there are other passages of scripture I think that you could go to, but I think that's one that I would begin with. And then as far as adoption is concerned, the Bible does talk quite a bit about adoption in the New Testament.

And in particular, it uses it as this illustration for what God has done for us. And so the Bible casts a positive light on adoption. In the ancient world, they had adoption, legal adoption, just like we have today. And oftentimes, especially in Paul's writings, you see this in the book of Romans, in Romans chapter 8, in Galatians chapter 4, Ephesians chapter 1 as well, it talks about us being adopted. We were predestined, Ephesians chapter 1 says, to adoption as sons. That is to say that God chose us to be a part of his family. And how is it that God adopted us into his family? Well, through his son, Jesus. Sometimes the way in which Christians have talked about this in the past is they've said, Jesus, who is the eternal son of God by nature, the eternal son of the father, the second person of the Holy Trinity, has made us the sons and daughters of God by grace.

Such a beautiful thing. And because we're adopted, we have these rights, these privileges as the children of God. He's filled us with his spirit. We've received the spirit of adoption. We have confidence, joy in the Holy Spirit.

We know that we are in Christ and that everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to us because we're a part of the family. And so the Bible puts a very positive light. Adoption really is such a beautiful picture of the gospel, what God has done for us. And so I think it's something that we, as the people of God, should be open to. And even pursuing and supporting those who are interested in adoption, I know it can be a really difficult process. And so I think it's wonderful when churches come together to support those who are pursuing adoption. And it's really, I think, a beautiful implication of the gospel.

You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, we want to mention we are not supported by a particular church or denomination. We rely on people just like you to make donations to keep us on the air. And if you find this program helpful, we ask you to prayerfully consider making a gift of any amount. You can do that on our website at corechristianity.com. Just click on donate at the top of the page. And by the way, a huge thank you to our listeners who have joined what we call our inner core.

Those are people who support us on a monthly basis. They receive some very special benefits by being a member of the inner core, including some special devotionals from Pastor Adriel. So check that out at our website corechristianity.com.

Let's go to Brandon in Charlotte, Tennessee. Brandon, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hey guys, so I was going through the book of Acts and just kind of reading through where people were filled with the Spirit and doing amazing things. So I guess my question is what does it mean to be filled with the Holy Ghost or filled with the Holy Spirit and how does that happen?

That's a great question. So first I would say everyone who is a Christian has the Holy Spirit, has been sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, you can't even say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. So part of the promise of the new covenant is that God is going to fill all his people with this Spirit. This was promised way back in Joel chapter 2.

It's fulfilled. I mean, you've been reading the book of Acts. It's fulfilled in Acts chapter 2. On the day of Pentecost, the entire church is filled with the Holy Spirit of God. So one, if you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit. You have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. Now at the same time, though, we're called in scripture to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I'm thinking of places like what Paul says in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 15.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is, and do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus. So I think right here you're already starting to see some of the signs of being filled with the Spirit. What does it look like? It looks like Thanksgiving. It looks like singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.

Joy. When Paul talks about the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the book of Galatians, it's love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. Those are the signs of the Spirit, if you will. Sometimes people will say, well, what about the miraculous gifts like tongues and prophesying and whatnot? And you look at places like the book of Acts, I think that those particular signs were primarily associated with the advancement of the gospel early on and the work of the apostles, which is not to say that God can't work in extraordinary ways today, but I think that that was something that God was doing at that point.

It was very special. And if you want to know whether or not you're filled with the Holy Spirit, I would say the fruit of the Spirit is what we should look to, what we should think about. Is there that love, that charity that is created by the Holy Spirit in our hearts? Is there joy?

Is there peace? Oftentimes we're looking, I think, for the wrong things. We want to see these supernatural manifestations, and if we don't see those things, we feel like, oh, I must not be filled with the Spirit. And that can be a huge burden, Brandon, for Christians to carry, thinking, well, I must not really be that great of a Christian. I don't speak in tongues. I must not be filled with the Holy Spirit.

No, the question you have to ask yourself is, you know, am I growing in grace? Is the word of Christ dwelling in me richly? That's actually, you know, in Colossians, in Colossians chapter three, I believe it's verse sixteen. It's sort of parallel to that exhortation in Ephesians five, where it says to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It says that happens when the word of Christ dwells in us richly. So how do you get filled with the Holy Spirit? You know, meditate on God's word. Pray, draw near to the Lord.

Go to church. Hear the preached word and receive it into your heart with faith. That's how the Spirit is at work in us, cultivating more and more the fruit of the Spirit.

And, Brandon, that's what we want to look for in our own lives. Not in this sort of, you know, we're fruit inspectors kind of thing, you know, like, but, you know, just realizing that the Lord is at work in us. And what that looks like is the fruit of the Spirit being cultivated more and more. And I'm guessing that you would caution people if they are told by an individual or a church that unless they have these so-called, you know, the prophetic or the tongues gifts, that they're not filled with the Holy Spirit, that that is not accurate from a biblical perspective. Yeah, it really isn't.

And you just can't say that. Even if we're talking about the days of the apostles in First Corinthians chapter twelve at the very end of the chapter, Paul made it absolutely clear that not everybody has the same gifts. Not everybody in those days was speaking in tongues or prophesying that kind of thing. He says, look, there are different parts of the body. And that's something I think that we can all be encouraged by. You, if you're a Christian, right, I've already said it, you're sealed by the Holy Spirit. You're called to be filled with the Spirit as the word of Christ dwells in you richly. But God has gifted you in unique ways to serve and to build up the body of Christ. And you're just one part of that body.

That's why, you know, we emphasize this over and over again on the broadcast because it's so biblical, we need to be in good churches. You by yourself are not the church. You're a part of the church. You're a part of the body.

You're a hand or a foot or an eye or a nose. But the body is only as healthy as we're all together working together. And so you need to be in a good church because God has gifted you and gifted others to help you as well for the building up of the body and love, as Paul talks about in Ephesians chapter four. And so that's where the Spirit is working.

And those are the things we want to be looking for as we ask these kinds of questions. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. You know, if you or your loved one is still dealing with the consequences of COVID-19 or maybe you've been suffering in some other ways, we have a very important resource that we'd like to offer you today.

That's right. We are offering this wonderful little book called Christ and Calamity. It's easy to think in the midst of our suffering that God has forgotten us, that he's sort of just left us behind. And that's one of the reasons I love the Psalms, Bill. You have the Psalms of lament where the Psalmist is crying out to the Lord in the midst of their suffering.

And so it really is important for us to know how to navigate through those difficult times. And I think that this this little book is going to be a help to those who are suffering. And so get a hold of this resource.

Again, it's called Christ and Calamity. We'll send you a copy for a donation of any amount. Just head over to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. You can also call us for that offer. Any one of our offers at 833-843-2673.

That's 833 the core. Let's go to an email that we received from one of our listeners named Robert. He says, Pastor Adriel, what are your suggestions for staying connected to faith when you're unable to attend church services? I made some horrible mistakes and disqualified myself from ministry several years ago. And now several churches have told me I'm not a good match or too risky to have me in their fellowship.

It's a very complex question and and not an easy one to answer. We didn't get all the details there. And so I don't know specifically what it was that that disqualified you.

I can I can only assume now I'm just taking one situation. We've we've had this in in the church that I pastor where you have someone who comes to the church who's, say, a registered sex offender. And now the church is needing to think about, well, what does it look like for us to to protect the flock, to care for the vulnerable within the church? I think that's the first thing a pastor needs to ask.

And then at the same time, not push people away because it might be uncomfortable. And what are the what are the wise things that we can do as a church to minister to an individual with this kind of with this kind of background, with this kind of history? And let me just say, you know, I don't see this lightly, but I think most churches are not equipped for this. And so for for you, brother, you know, asking this question, I think, you know, you show up to a church and maybe you have a history like that and they don't know what to do. And so they say, look, just we can't have you here.

We don't know. We don't want to. The other issue is maybe churches aren't equipped because they just say, oh, yeah, come back. You know, God is full of grace and we know you're a registered sex offender or something like that. But the gospel washes away everything.

And so you're free to just be a part of the church. And, you know, you can talk to the leadership about this, but nobody else has to know that kind of a thing. No, churches need to take this very seriously. Our priority is caring for the vulnerable sheep within the flock. And there are there are predators, there are wolves who are seeking to prey on the flock. And so maybe maybe this is one of the reasons why churches are concerned.

They don't really know how to how to handle. Let me just tell you what we've done in our church. One, there needs to be full transparency with whatever this issue is. So you talk to the leadership, you go to the leadership of the church, you talk to the leadership. And if it is something like a registered sex offense, something like that, then it has to be something that the entire church knows about. And the way you communicate that is maybe through something like a congregational meeting or something similar to that. But there has to be that kind of full accountability.

Otherwise, you're getting yourself into a lot of trouble. And in the past, when I've worked with men who have backgrounds like that, you know, they're getting out of prison. They've got this this this mark on them. They're registered sex offender. You also want to have communication with their parole officer, typically. And the reason is because they oftentimes there will be terms of their parole that you want to help them to uphold. Sometimes, for example, their parole officer might say they can go to church, but they're not allowed to hang around afterwards or go early or interact with children. Certainly.

Yeah. I mean, that's always going to be a part of it is, you know, they're not supposed to interact with children, go over to families, houses, that kind of thing. There needs to be full transparency, full openness, full, you know, lines of communications or certain parameters that you set up and saying you're just not going to work with young adults or children in that.

You just have to know that that's and typically the terms of the parole will state that as well. And so there you have to have all these things in place. And if an individual is unwilling to do those things, I would say then you you shouldn't be at the church. And maybe you shouldn't be at any church because a part of walking in the light and walking repentance is accepting these.

We can choose our sin, but we can't choose the consequences of our sin. There needs to be that kind of openness and protection. If they're not willing to do that, then don't know to you, brother. It sounds to me like you've maybe gone to some churches and they don't know what to do. And they say, please don't come. You know, other fellowship opportunities. Maybe there's there's a men's group that they might be that might be meeting that might be open to having you come.

Something like that. A fellowship of men. But but we do need the church.

We do need the body of Christ. And so I think it's important that you that you find a church that you can be totally open with and that is going to take the proper steps in encouraging you in in walking with you and helping you to be accountable and to walk in the light and to and to continually walk in repentance. And there are organizations, I think, that can really be helpful with this one organization that we often plug on the broadcast is called Grace Stands for Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment.

I think their website is netgrace.org. And if you're a part of a church or if you're in leadership at a church and you think, well, we don't know how to deal with something like this happened. Archer, we wouldn't know what to say. Get a hold of grace and and think through this, because the fact of the matter is, we want to be a place that protects the vulnerable within the church, but also is open to to anyone who is coming, longing for the grace of God and wanting to walk in repentance and wanting to walk in the light. That's not always an easy thing, but we have to make sure that we're doing that for the good of the body of Christ and for the good of those who are longing to be a part of it.

And so thank you for your question. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833 the core. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-12 14:03:20 / 2023-11-12 14:14:13 / 11

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